How Is Child Custody Determined?
The primary goal in determining custody is deciding what is in the best interests of the child. Even in the most contentious divorce cases, most parents usually agree that they want to do what is best for their children, even if coming to that decision is difficult. For many couples, the result will be joint custody with visitation rights granted to the nonprimary caregiver. At Hawley & Associates, LLC, we have vast experience with custody cases in Prattville and throughout Autauga County.
Factors That Courts Consider In Determining Custody
Custody is determined by a variety of factors. Some of the questions that will be asked to decide custody include:
- Who handles the majority of the parenting tasks?
- What are the child’s wishes?
- Do the parents have any mental health or other issues that may affect the child?
- What will be the most stable home environment?
- How does the child interact with other members of the family?
These are some of the questions a lawyer can help you answer when discussing child custody.
Types Of Child Custody
Child custody amounts to more than simply determining where a child will live. In fact, several kinds of child custody will determine the role a parent plays in their child’s life.
- Physical custody: This determines which parent a child will live with.
- Legal custody: Making life decisions for the child is one of the most important parts of their life. Legal custody determines who will make decisions about things like education and health care.
- Sole custody: Sole custody may be awarded by a judge — often in cases when one parent is deemed unfit to care for the child. This could be sole legal custody, physical custody or both.
- Joint custody: Many joint custody agreements include both legal custody and physical custody, where the parents split time with the child and are both involved in decisions.